D'Bai, Dream Castle And Manguzi Star On 4th Night Of 2019 DWC Carnival

Dubai (January 24, 2019)—The fourth meeting of the 2019 Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan on Thursday was a quality affair officially highlighted by the 1400m Al Fahidi Fort sponsored by Emirates Global Aluminium (G2) and the 1800m Al Rashidiya (G2)—both $250,000 events on the turf course. The 3-year-olds hoping to earn their way into the $2.5 million UAE Derby (G2) got a course and distance drill earlier in the card in the $100,000 Al Bastakiya Trial. Three additional handicaps with thrilling finishes added depth to the card.

$250,000 AL FAHIDI FORT (Group 2)
The Al Fahidi Fort, with multiple Group 1 and Group 2 winners, was the most complex event of the evening, but D’Bai made it look simple. Confidently ridden by James Doyle for Godolphin and Charlie Appleby, the son of Dubawi led home a 1-2-3 finish for the owner-trainer team with his 1¾-length stalk-and-pounce tally, with Mythical Magic finishing second under Colm O’Donoghue and Bravo Zolo in a dead-heat for third under Brett Doyle. Phoenix Thoroughbreds’ Sandeep Jadhav-trained Lansky, Mickael Barzalona aboard, was the other half of said tie for third.

Group 1 winners Comin’ Through, a first Dubai runner for Australia-based conditioner Chris Waller, and South Africa’s Marinaresco failed to factor, finishing seventh and ninth. Top Score was fifth, Championship sixth and Another Batt eighth, while the order of finish astern Marinaresco was completed by Portamento, Janoobi, Degas and Intisaab.

Last year, the Al Fahidi Fort was won by the same connections with Jungle Cat, who subsequently went on to land the 1200m Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint on the Dubai World Cup card.

“He seems to thrive out here, but ultimately the first time is the time to catch him,” Doyle said. “From a slightly awkward draw, I ended up in an awkward position, but thankfully I had cover all the way. I probably pressed the panic button a bit soon, because from where I was I couldn’t really. I knew Janoobi was out there and we had beaten him last year. In five strides we were in front. Full credit to the horse, as he likes to be delivered a bit later than that and I am sure we will probably do that next time.”

Appleby added: “This was (D’bai’s) first run and I was pleased with his preparation. Seven furlongs is probably his ultimate trip. We were confident coming in that he was fit and ready and this was a good trip to get him started. We could drop him back six furlongs, but he’s probably horse who will wind up going internationally again. He could just do one Dubai run and then look toward Europe and Australia.”

O’Donoghue was pleased with the effort of Mythical Magic: “It was a very smooth run. There was a good pace and he settled and was travelling beautifully. He quickened up well and galloped all the way to the line. He had no problem stepping up in trip. He and the winner are both nice horses.”

“It was a perfect run,” echoed Brett Doyle of Bravo Zolo. “He travelled around well and quickened up well. He ran right to the line and will improve for the run.”

Barzalona added of Lansky: “He ran a good race for his first time out here. He travelled well, he led the race (in mid-stretch) and then (D’bai) just got ahead in the last hundred metres. It was a great race.”

$250,000 AL RASHIDIYA (Group 2)
Godolphin were responsible for six of the nine runners in the 1800m Al Rashidiya sponsored by Emirates Global Aluminium (G2) and promptly supplied the first four home with Saeed bin Suroor trio Dream Castle, Leshlaa and Racing History chased home by Charlie Appleby’s Group 1 winner Blair Castle.

Victorious three weeks ago on the first night of the Carnival when impressive winner of the Singspiel Stakes (G3) over the same course and distance, the 5-year-old Dream Castle—a son of the great Frankel—has now won both his starts since being gelded, having only tasted victory once before on debut. Ridden, as he was three weeks ago, with supreme confidence by Christophe Soumillon, he quickened impressively to lead 400m out and put the race to bed in a few strides.

In doing so, he emulated stable companion Benbatl, who won both the Singspiel Stakes and this race last year with his 2018 carnival ending with a $6 million Dubai Turf (G1) victory on the Dubai World Cup card.

Leshlaa (Pat Cosgrave up) and Racing History (Kevin Stott) finished well in tandem, while Blair House (James Doyle) was slightly disappointing in fourth, considering his victory in the Jebel Hatta (G1) last March on Super Saturday and superb Group 1 form in Australia in the autumn. The order of finish was completed by the Fawzi Nass-trained pair of Group 3 winner Euginio and Grade 1 winner Deauville, First Contact, Bay of Poets and Arod.

“Today I was drawn well, the pace was good enough for us and in the last turn, I was focusing on the horse leading, who was going really well,” Soumillon said. “When I saw James (Doyle on Blair House) couldn’t follow him, I picked up on the inside and my horse reacted really well. I know he likes to have horses in front of him, as you can see. I was travelling really easily and when I asked him and hit the front, he looked around for a few strides and then he gave me a really nice turn-of-foot again. He has changed a lot (from winning the Group 3 Singspiel on Jan. 3) and was more speedy today. His action is more smooth and he can still improve on that one. His performance today was lovely and he can be a horse for Godolphin for Dubai World Cup night, that is for sure.”

Bin Suroor added: “It was good for (Dream Castle) today to run well again. He ran very well last time (winning the Group 3 Singspiel on Jan. 3). The horse is doing very well and I like the way he finished his race. He was more relaxed today and showed a good turn of foot. He’s a good horse for the future. He does this when he works in the morning. Leshlaa and Racing History finished second and third—that’s good form today. Sheikh Mohammed will make the decision (on where he runs next).”

Cosgrave and Stott were both pleased with their mounts.

“It was a true-run race,” Cosgrave said. “He is fit and well and was ready for tonight. I hope he has improved from tonight, but I was very happy with the run.”

Stott added: “He’s a very genuine horse. He has his few problems, but he loves it out here with the sun on his back. Fair play to the horse. He’s run really well today and last time (when second in the Group 3 Singspiel on Jan. 3). Hopefully he now he can go up a few pounds and be able to run Super Saturday or (Dubai) World Cup night.”

$100,000 AL BASTAKIYA TRIAL (3-year-olds)
The inaugural $100,000 Al Bastakiya Trial sponsored by Emirates Global Aluminium over the same 1900m dirt course and distance as the UAE Derby and went to Manguzi who, from his draw in stall three, was able to get to the front and dictate an optimal trip under Fernando Jara for trainer Ali Rashid Al Rayhi and owner Ahmad Al Shaikh.

The 3-year-old Planteur colt arrived in the UAE as a maiden after three outings for George Scott before making his local debut a winning one in a 1400m Jebel Ali maiden in December, defeating older horses. He was then second to the exciting Walking Thunder in the 1600m UAE Guineas 2000 Trial 13 days later and again wheeled back 14 days later to win this over Godolphin’s hard-charging Estihdaaf and Christophe Soumillon. Both Al Rayhi and Saeed bin Suroor, who trains the runner-up, were pleased with their horses.

“He ran a good race,” Al Rayhi said. “He doesn’t like kickback, so I told Fernando to go to the front and stay in the inside three paths, then with two furlongs to go, to tell him to go and he did.”

“On the turf last time, he didn’t run well, but his breeding is better on the dirt and today he showed that,” Bin Suroor added.

Jara, having his first Carnival win of 2019, was pleased: “I think he is a nice horse and he has been doing really good at home. His last race was a good race, but I thought this was even better for him. (Al Rayhi) told me to be in good position and it was better to be inside. The horse broke good and was traveling so easy. He is still young, so hopefully he’ll keep improving. At the end, I was looking around and getting a little bit worried, but he responded well.”

Soumillon expects even more improvement from the runner-up, whose pedigree—a son of Arch out of a Ghostzapper mare—lends itself to the sandier surface: “He ran really well, but he didn’t jump very quickly. I had to put him in the race. We had a good race, but I think if I was holding the lead, he would get it today. It’s very hard for a young horse like him to make up so much ground. The winner took off when arrived at the entrance to the straight and at that time, I had to push him hard to focus. He ran really well and he’s good for the future.”

Victory Command, 12½ lengths astern the runner-up, finished well for third under Royston Ffrench, while Argentine Group 1 winner Grecko, carrying a hefty penalty of 62kg—giving away between 4.5-7kg to his rivals—ran respectably in fourth under Pat Cosgrave.

“I’m very pleased with the run,” Ffrench said. “Obviously he wasn’t drawn very well (in post 13 of 14) and they did go quite quick. I was a little out-paced early, but he ran on strong and will improve for the run.”

Cosgrave added: It was a very good run. He was forced to run back for a little while and he had a lot of weight (62kg) on his back. He will come forward. I am very happy with the run.”

Superior, Tone Broke, Obeyaan, Raayan, Al Seel Legacy’s, Shanty Star, Alla Mahlak, Bila Shak, Alda’iya and Iskandarani completed the order of finish.

Remainder of Card
UAE Champion Jockey, Tadhg O’Shea, opened his 2019 Carnival account when never headed aboard local debutant Mazzini in the opening EGA Billets Trophy, a 1000m turf handicap in which he upset top weights Hit the Bid and Faatinah, from Ireland and Australia, respectively. Purchased for 90,000gns at Tattersalls in October, the 6-year-old gelded son of Exceed And Excel completed a 1-2 finish for his sire while having his first start for trainer Fawzi Nass, who owns the horse in partnership with Ahmed Al Qattan.

O’Shea said: “It was a nice spare ride for me and, luckily, I could do the light weight of 53kg which stable jockey Adrie de Vries cannot. We flew out of the gates, so with so little weight and on a horse we know stays further, I was more than happy to be positive. We did not really see another horse, but when (Hit the Bid) came to challenge, my fellow just found a bit more.”

Well away from stall one under Richard Mullen, Saltarin Dubai made very post a winning one with a smooth success in a 2000m dirt handicap, the EGA Jebel Ali Trophy. Trained by Satish Seemar for Sheikh Mohd bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, the 6-year-old gelded son of E Dubai was given a great ride by Mullen who, having set a modest early tempo, skipped clear leaving the home turn and stayed on strongly to register a second course and distance victory following as last year’s Curlin Handicap (Listed) in March. A Group 1 winner in his native Argentina, back in June 2016, he initially arrived in the UAE with Mike de Kock before joining Seemar.

Mullen said: “He is a horse who always takes two or three runs to show his best, because he is not the easiest to get fit, as he is so laid back at home. We were pretty hopeful coming here tonight, because he was back on the same mark as he won the Curlin Handicap last year and, from stall one, I hoped we could get the lead. We had a nice breather down the back so I was happy to commit for home leaving the home turn and he ran on well.”

The concluding 2410m turf handicap, the EGA Al Taweelah Trophy was won with a stealthy forwardly placed ride by James Doyle on Godolphin’s recently acquired Spotify, who held off a hard-charging and well-seasoned Sharpalo in second. Appleby trains the winner.

"That was a very pleasing as a first run of the season and with a new horse for us,” Doyle said. “I was always pretty happy out in front and then, when I asked him, he has quickened away nicely. He was getting a bit tired in the final 100m, but was always holding on gamely."